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Microbes use carbon from ancient rocks

[Translate to English:] Schmelzwasserströme
[01. June 2023]  Microbial communities in marine sediments are able to use ancient material as a carbon source. Although they prefer fresh organic material, if there is not enough of it, microbes also use carbon from rocks. Since this bacterial metabolism releases greenhouse gases, this process is an additional source of fossil greenhouse gases. This is the result of a study led by the Alfred Wegener Institute, which has now been published in the journal Nature Geosciences. 

Underestimated Heat Storage

Calculations show that the thermal energy stored by land masses has increased significantly

[Translate to English:] Permafrost
[31. May 2023]  There are many effects of climate change. Perhaps the most broadly known is global warming, which is caused by heat building up in various parts of the Earth system, such as the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere and the land. 89 percent of this excess heat is stored in the oceans, with the rest in ice and glaciers, the atmosphere and land masses (including inland water bodies). An international research team has now studied the quantity of heat stored on land, showing the distribution of land heat among the continental ground, permafrost soils, and inland water bodies. The calculations, published in Earth System Dynamics, show that more than 20 times as much heat has been stored there since the 1960s, with the largest increase being in the ground.

Microplastics: From detection to prevention

New project investigates risks and possibilities for combating microplastic pollution in the German-Danish border region

[Translate to English:] Analyse Mikropartikel
[02. May 2023]  Thousands of tonnes of microplastics are emitted in the German-Danish border region every year. The PlastTrack project, funded by the European Union as part of Interreg Deutschland-Danmark programme, investigates potential dangers for the environment and us humans. The institutions involved also develop tools to monitor and combat plastic pollution in the region. The project is led by the Southern Danish University (SDU) in Sønderborg, the Alfred Wegener Institute and the GEOMAR are German partners.

Infrastructure for atmospheric research launched

ACTRIS is the largest multi-site infrastructure for atmospheric research worldwide

[Translate to English:] Sicht auf Lidar-System KARL, der deutsch-französischen Forschungsbasis AWIPEV, Ny Alesund Spitzbergen
[26. April 2023]  The European Commission has officially established ACTRIS as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). With its ERIC status, ACTRIS is now officially recognised as a European research infrastructure for atmospheric research. It provides science, industry and public authorities with access to a wide range of high-quality data, technologies, services and resources, and to promote cutting-edge research and international cooperation in the field of atmospheric research.

Coastal Research

Using slaked lime to fight climate change

An experiment on the island of Helgoland examines a potential solution for the long-term removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with the help of the ocean

[Translate to English:] RETAKE Mesokosmen Helgoand
[04. April 2023]  In a large-scale experiment that has just begun on the island of Helgoland, a team of 30 researchers is testing to which extent the ocean is able to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. In mesocosms, free-floating closed experimental facilities, the group investigates whether the ocean can absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through the addition of slaked lime and what influence this has on plankton communities in the sea.